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Economic Sense

RSS By: Matt Bogard, AgWeb.com

Matt's primary interest is in the biotech industry and ag policy.

Earth Liberation Front: Resistance

Nov 09, 2009

By Matt Bogard


The following is an excerpt from a recent interview of Craig Rosebraugh regarding Earth Liberation Front's magazine 'Resistance.'  (here on Eigene Weekly's Next Big Thing blog)

"This movement realizes that when governments and politicians refuse to act to protect the planet, it is up to all of us to step in and protect our home. And the only logic way that this protection may occur is to understand the primary force driving environmental destruction. That force is economic; it is the financial incentive that corporations and governments have when they clear-cut old growth forests, when they pump out gas-guzzling vehicles, when they destroy mountain tops and communities for coal, when they lay gas and oil pipelines across landscapes and ecosystems, when they genetically alter the natural world, when they pump toxins into the air, into the water and soil. It is the profit motive that is driving environmental destruction. So it only makes logical sense to work to directly remove that profit motive from these entities so they either are persuaded to stop their harmful practices or go out of business."

Among other things, he is linking profits and biotechnology with environmental destruction. It is annoying that these same 'stories' continue to be told. They are like myths that it seems we must continue to debunk over and over again.  This time, we have a combination of myths about modern agriculture and the general misunderstanding of profits and our market system.

Removing the profit motive is the very last thing that one would want to do if long term sustainability is the goal. It was largely the profit motive that led to the production of biotech crops, and adoption by farmers. Sure we are all motivated by things besides profit, but the market system helps to coordinate our decisions, so that our choices are compatible and resources are used efficiently in a world of scarcity. And guess what, as so much evidence has indicated, farming is more sustainable than ever! While the agriculture industry may be one of the best examples of how markets and profits can lead to sustainable outcomes, the basic principle holds true across many other industries as well. I guess Mr. Rosebraugh has never heard of ‘The Invisible Green Hand.'

He goes on to perpetuate more propoganda about what 'democracy' is and how our founders lied to us about what this country is 'really' supposed to be about- how corrupt we have been since our inception in 1776- but that will have to come later. I post a lot of things critical to the functioning of government vs. markets, but him and I are nowhere near on the same page on that issue.

Of course, considering ELF as the source, we would not expect their publications to be considerate of all of the evidence, it's not like they are TIME magazine or anything.

Reference:

Mercatus Policy Series Policy Primer No. 7. ‘The Invisible Green Hand.’ October 2008

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